There are no symbols with Rick Barry; just realities. This may seem like a step away from folk music as it is known. Yet, you cannot stop Barry’s embodiment of folk’s ultimate theme: journeys. His sophomore LP Curses, Maledictions, & Harsh Reiterations has been described to be like sitting in a bar with an old friend, to which I say that friend is a brilliant poet. Barry has a way with words that exude intelligence. Listening to songs like “So Soft, So Sweet”, “Where Do Seasons Get Their Names”, and “Beatrice” are like hearing genius sparkle through sound. Barry is that friend that manages to speak on your emotions better than you can. He surprises and inspires you with his wisdom and woe like “Removing The Stitches”. You might not believe that a smart person suffers, but Barry draws the line between knowledge and wisdom. For Barry, knowledge gives you facts, but wisdom gives you faith, which it means it comes from experiences: not numbers.
Curses, Maledictions, & Harsh Reiterations is simple in arrangements. Again. Barry is a man of many words. He wants to have a conversation with listeners, and, by chance, its through song. His vocals are like a stream; very clear and flowing with a few emotional ripples that may not move the rocks of your soul but will touch upon them, and, if you let them, will leave a mark. The key words being “if you let them”. In voice and words, Barry is precise and without pretenses. He is sharing episodes of his life and fragments of his mind that are neither to make you dance or even to make you rest. He truly is trying to converse with listeners, which means you have to think and be mindful in how you let yourself drift into his sweet, guitar melodies. They sound beautiful and soft to the ears like a baby’s touch, but his themes are for adults or mature, spiritual beings whom are done with emotional games but still need to figure out their plays.